Francis Cummins backs Bradford Bulls to quickly resolve ongoing ownership issue

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Francis Cummins says not knowing exactly what is going to happen next is the difficult thing for the Bulls staff Francis Cummins says not knowing exactly what is going to happen next is the difficult thing for the Bulls staff

Bulls coach Francis Cummins is hopeful that the club’s ownership saga will reach a positive conclusion next week.

The Bulls’ future has been wracked with uncertainty since the club’s three-strong board of directors announced they were stepping down on Christmas Eve.

The move came after no deal could be struck with owner Omar Khan for his shares in the club, creating an impasse which has yet to be resolved.

A crucial meeting on Monday, chaired by the Rugby Football League’s chief operating office Ralph Rimmer, led to an announcement that Mark Moore, Andrew Calvert and Ian Watt had not resigned and were in fact still running the club.

The news encouraged hopes that a deal could finally be struck to transfer ownership of the Bulls from Khan to the current board of directors, with talks set to continue early next week.

Head coach Cummins said: “We know it’s got to happen next week and I think it will.

“The RFL are involved and the same directors are still in place, so there are obviously people wanting to lead the club.

“Like I’ve said to the players, if we’ve got to wait a week then we can handle that. But it’s the not knowing that’s the difficult thing.

“It doesn’t get any harder than this situation – people are talking about relegation being brought back, so maybe that’s another one – but this is probably worse because we know that we’re improving so much during pre-season.

“The players are improving as athletes, they are hitting their personal bests and they are fitter than they were last year.”

The Bulls made a number of Cummins’ backroom staff redundant or significantly reduced their hours during a wave of cuts last month.

It was announced that savings of up to £400,000 had to be made but so far, Cummins has not seen any of his players depart.

The Bradford boss said: “We’re still in the same situation with the budgets.

“There are going to need to be cuts and that’s still in place, unless some knight in shining armour comes over the hill.

“In terms of the players, like I’ve said before, nobody wants to go.

“There have been a couple of genuine offers but none of my players want to leave.

“It’s a strange situation that we’re in but the players have been tremendous, even after the rollercoaster of the holiday period.

“We know we’ve got some good people here and that enables us to get our job done and enjoy coming in to work, which is important.

“It’s good for me and the staff, who have played a huge part in creating the environment we have here at Tong.”

The Bulls host Hull FC in their opening pre-season game a fortnight tomorrow.

Cummins said a number of players, notably Chev Walker, Brett Kearney, Matt Diskin and Frank Winterstein, were set to miss the match as they worked their way back towards full fitness.

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